A two days workshop jointly organized by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), the Association of African Universities (AAU), and the Association of Canadian Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), bringing together 54 universities, 15 from Sub-Saharan Africa and 12 from Canada to discuss on how African universities would be transformed to be more research and development oriented institutions opened at the School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi Tuesday November 29, 2011.
Dr. Kilemi Mwiria, Higher Education, Science and Technology,assistant minister stressing a point during the opening session of Strengthening Higher Education Stakeholders relations in Africa that opened yesterday at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Tuesday November 29, 2011. The workshop jointly organised by the Association of African Universities, association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology brings together 30 universities drawn from sub-Saharan Africa and Canada aimed at transforming Africa’s universities to be more oriented.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Dr. Kilemi Mwiria, Kenya’s Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology challenged Universities in Africa to learn from the long and experienced Universities that he said were at the forefront in the promotion of their country’s development agenda. He appealed to Universities in Africa to strive and provide solutions to the many problems that were condemning majority of populations in Africa to unacceptable levels of poverty. The assistant minister lamented that Africa was the only continent that a situation he described “as a scandal’ that undermined the role of the University in Africa.
The function was also addressed by the vice-chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga who welcomed the new project saying it was likely to boost JKUAT’s culture of applied research that had already been firmly established in JKUAT. “We have been at the forefront in organizing technology transfer training workshops targeting our majority poor to promote small scale industrial production of the university developed inventions”.
The workshop was also addressed by Higher Education, Science and Technology Secretary who said that his ministry had given priority to manufacturing and called on universities to promote the culture of excellence in the generation of knowledge. Prof. John Ssebuwufu AAU Director of research, and programmes urged Universities in Africa to forge robust ties with industry saying Africa’s low level university- industry was mainly to blame for the slow economic development witnessed in the continent for years.